There are a lot of traditions humans hold when it comes to relationships and love. For a lot of us, the mark of taking the next step with someone is getting down on one knee, presenting a ring, and asking for someone’s hand in marriage. Something similar happens in penguin world, too.
On August 25, the TikTok account (@sealifesydneyaquarium) for SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, a public aquarium in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, shared an interesting video from their penguins. It’s a must-watch because it’s really cool — take a look!
PEBBLE SZN IS BACK! 🥰 Pebbles are gifted from one penguin to another to acknowledge their relationship, and helps grow a nest for the budding family 💙
For humans, the most popular month for people to get engaged is December. But for penguins, it’s in August.
“It’s pebble season at SEA LIFE Sydney,” the text on the 12-second video reads. “Come on in and see our Gentoo’s propose-it never gest old.”
I the clip we see a woman in the penguin enclosure that has several black rocks on the ground. The woman hands one of the black rocks to one of the penguins and they take it with their beak.
“Pebbles are gifted from one penguin to another to acknowledge their relationship,” the caption for the video explains, “and helps grow a nest for the budding family.”
According to BioExpedition, not all penguins mate for life but Gentoo penguins, like the ones we see in this clip, do, which is why they have this cute proposal ceremony every year whether in the wild or a conservation aquarium.
In the comment section, people had some questions and observations.
“This is the vibe,” wrote one viewer.
“That penguin is literally me,” one person joked because the penguin the video didn’t give the rock to anyone.
“Decided that I only want to be proposed to with a pebble,’ wrote another TikTok viewer.
“Do lady penguins ever give pebbles to other lady penguins?” someone asked.
“Are Magic and Sphen still together?!” questioned another.
According to Oceana.org, Gentoo penguins are seen as very romantic with their breeding and nesting rituals.
“Gentoo penguins have been dubbed one of the more romantic seabirds in the animal kingdom,” the site explains.
“Gentoo penguin pairs start by building intricate nests of rocks and pebbles together, and individual pebbles may be shared between potential mates beforehand as a sign that they are interested in becoming a breeding pair.”
They then use those pebble nests to lay their egg during the 40-day incubation period.
“Males and females work together closely during the process, taking turns incubating the egg and forming long-lasting bonds with each other that continue after the chick has hatched,” Oceana.org shares.
It would be really cute to see this in real life, but even watching on TikTok is a treat.